• Gina Fegan

Chapter 25. Danger

Maeve stood outside in her garden breathing in the early evening air, the trees with new green tall above the incline of the back garden, the scent rising from the earth, the drift of sweet blossom. It was grounding Maeve. She couldn’t process all of Ada’s story, she knew it would take time. Now she needed to breathe. Maeve was deep in her mindfulness breathing when she was disturbed by a “Hello there neighbour!” This was the way Anne used to shout over the fence when she had some veg to share, briefly Maeve thought it was a voice in her own head. She looked over towards the fence and sure enough there was Anne.This time Anne went straight in with, “I don’t want to bother you but there are a few things I need and some you need.” This was too much for Maeve, she said, “I’m sorry Anne, I can’t. I can’t deal with this right now.” Maeve turned and went straight back into the house.

“Ada it doesn’t matter how much you say I can, I can’t! I am not ready for this.”, and with that Maeve retreated to her bedroom and slammed the door shut. She needed to be alone. How could she make it stop. It was overwhelming. Ada’s story meant she had to rethink her childhood. She had to let go of the resentment which had been a driver for her actions and now she had to handle the new feelings of guilt. 

Maeve also had to face up to her ‘gift’. The people who talked to her in the hospital, maybe she could handle that, mostly they just wanted to say goodbye. But the ones like Susan, Kamal and Kevin were serious, these were murders and they needed a real champion, someone who would fight for them. Thinking of Kevin, Maeve added, it had to be someone who could be tough and handle them too! What was that old quote, ‘Life does not put things in front of you that you are unable to handle’, Maeve used to think that was true, right now she was not at all sure. She needed to clear her head and decide who she wanted to be, hero? Mother? Daughter? Or all three?

Up on the University campus things were getting underway. The police community safety officers were organising the volunteers into logical groups to sweep across designated areas of the campus, making sure that altogether they would cover the entire open ground. Marieanne and Orla had joined the search just in time. They were told what to do, their group was to form at the back of Woody’s bar, just beyond the turning circle facing the green ‘open’ space, which was actually under cover of trees. They were to form a line with about a metre between each person and walk as one. 

As they gathered Orla heard a voice behind her, “you’re her daughter, aren’t you? They say it runs in families. Anyway I don’t have time, you need to know things. He has access to underground rooms in the Cathedral. We were looking for the anti-gravity powder and he could take us into locked rooms, he has keys, because of the archives.” “Are you Kevin?”, Orla was sharp to the point with her question. “Yes”, Kevin was a little reluctant, but trying to win her over he went on “I know, I know, it wasn’t wrong, I just wanted to know if the cabal were there, and she made them look.”, he smiled, very pleased with himself that his plan had worked even though he was disappointed with the result, “but this is real, this is where you will find him.” Orla was shooing him away “I don’t believe a word you say, what do you mean rooms under the Cathedral? Archives, access to locked rooms, anti-gravity powder? Do you think I would believe you when you have proved yourself to be a liar!” Marieanne was looking at her strangely, “are you talking to yourself?” This made Orla laugh, “it's just the way it is, but he is not a good spirit so I won’t talk to him. And now, ‘poof’, I can't even see him, that door is closed.” Marieanne was a little concerned, “sure you are okay?” Orla could be overconfident “never better!”

They started getting into position when Orla heard a “Psst, over here.” Looking under the branches she realised that she was looking towards Parkwood Rd, and there was Anne. “I don’t want to bother your mother, she is having a difficult moment, but there isn’t much time, so can you give her a message?” Orla walked over to Anne so that no one would overhear the conversation and asked, “how are you?” Anne smiled, “you are a good girl, always were. I’m fine. In fact, I’m happy here, I’d appreciate it if you would pass that on, to Ray and the children. But the urgent business is that I know who killed me. On this side, it was a bit like waking up from a fuzzy sleep, my head is clear now. And once the family are okay and I have said goodbye I am happy to stay. But urgently I need your mother to tell the truth, and to stop him otherwise I will be tied here in Parkwood. Tell her this…..”

Orla, dashed over to Marieanne, “I have to do something in town. When this walk is over, go and tell Mum and Ada that Anne remembers. I need to check it out but if she’s right we will find Adam. Finish this first because after Kevin we don’t know who to trust and Anne’s dementia might be fooling her.” Marieanne was of the view that they needed to do the logical as well as the spiritual, so she agreed with the sisterly warning, “don’t take any risks.” Orla grinned “Moi? Take a risk? Certainly not an unnecessary one!”, with that she was gone. 

They had finished their walk through in about half an hour. Nothing. The other teams were still going but Marieanne’s lot were told that they were done for the night. The days had been lengthening but it was now definitely dusk.

Marieanne was hoping that she had done the right thing and the Orla would have got home before she did. It’s good to hope, but sometimes that can get you, or someone else, into serious trouble.

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